This is the fourth day of our preview series looking at the upcoming Alloy v3 release. If you’ve missed the previous days you can go to this thread, which links to all of the currently released previews:
Today we’ll be talking a bit more about blogging in Alloy v3. We’re going to be touching on several topics – our new Blog Layouts feature, the new Blog Search tool for your visitors, the Previous / Next Controls, built-in Commenting for your Posts and the ever popular Pretty URLs feature.
Since we’ve got a lot to cover I’m going to let a couple of the new tutorial videos do the talking for me for things like Pretty URLS and our Previous / Next Controls. But first, let’s look at our brand new Blog Layouts.
Blog Layouts have been added to the Blog Entries stack to allow you to choose from 6 different blog summary views for your visitors. We’ve kept the classic blog layout, and added 5 new designs to give you flexibility and style options. When choosing your layout in Stacks’ Edit Mode in RapidWeaver you’ll see a small representative icon in the Blog Entries stack that will give you a basic idea of the layout’s design. I’ve included each of these layout icons below to give you a glimpse as the possible designs.
In addition we also provide active feedback in the Blog Entries settings to help you know how many posts per page each layout supports. This takes the guessing out of creating your summary view layout. We included a video in yesterday’s post where we talk about Layouts, so if you didn’t see that one yet, be sure to check it out.
We’ve added Search capability to Alloy with a new Search stack. This stack can be placed on your blog page to allow your visitors to search for text within your Blog Posts. The search will look through the Blog Posts’ titles, categories, decorative labels and body content. We think this new search capability will be a welcome feature for your helping your blog’s visitors find content that matters to them.
Previous / Next Controls
Speaking of making your Blog Posts more discoverable by your visitors – Alloy v3 now also includes the ability to insert Previous and Next Controls at the bottom of each individual Blog Post. The controls can include the title, date, navigation buttons and the post’s topper image. Here’s one example:
These controls are easily customized within the Blog Entries stack so that you can make them blend in with the rest of your site’s design. These controls aren’t just stylish additions, they really help move your visitors from one post to the next. Here’s a quick video talking about these controls:
In Alloy v3 we’ve built-in support for two different commenting systems – Disqus and Hyvor Talk. Setting these up in Alloy is super simple, and both services offer moderation, and customization through their individual services’ tools. Let’s look at the new Commenting video to see how easy it is to set those up.
And last, but certainly not least for today, let’s take a look at a feature many of you have requested in the past – Pretty URLs.
Pretty URLs have been a feature high on users want list for a while now. In this version I’ve implemented it directly into the Alloy Control Center. This feature, while a nice addition to Alloy, also comes with needing to manually modify your site’s hidden htaccess file. Let’s take a look at the Pretty URLs video to see what it is all about, how to set it up, and how to modify your htaccess file.
These are just a few of the features in the very long list of new additions to Alloy v3. When this update goes live you’ll be able to check out the Release Notes page to get a full, in-depth run down of every single update and addition.
Tomorrow we’ll be looking at the upgrade process and cost for Alloy v3, as well as the grace period for customers who’ve recently purchased Alloy.